N C R   S T O R I E S


Gun-totting SP activists stage ‘peace’ march in Noida
Parmindar Singh

Noida, January 20
The peace march of gun-totting Samajwadi Party cadre created a flutter here, when their siren-fitted cars buzzed through Noida and other towns.

The march was ostensibly held to pacify the agitating public, but it turned out to be a show of strength.

The over one dozen hooter blaring vehicles, with barrels of guns protruding out of the windows, had the people scurrying for cover. The display of might specially sent a shudder down the spine of the traders, shopkeepers and entrepreneurs, forcing them to down their shutters. Interestingly, the march was followed by a convoy of armed police, which were provided for the security of Samajwadi Party leaders in the rally.

Both Congress and the BJP have condemned the naïve exhibitionism.

DM Santosh Yadav and SSP JN Singh, however, justified the display of arms: they pointed out that the SP cadre were apprehensive that the people agitating against the scrapping of the district might attack them. The police had also provided them armed escorts. Most of the SP leaders and activists, who participated in the peace march, were from Ghaziabad.

The local people were, however, quite livid. They said, such exhibitionism would vitiate the atmosphere and create avoidable tension.

Meanwhile, the fears of industrialists and entrepreneurs that, after scrapping of Gautam Budh Nagar district, criminal activists will increase in the area have come true. They are especially feeling intimidated following the “armed peace march.”

They said Ghaziabad had an image of a crime district, from where industries were shifting. Now, they are hoping against hope that criminal activities don’t get a fillip here, after the merger with Ghaziabad.

The Congress also come out in favour of GB Nagar district. They took out a rally, demonstrated in front of a cinema hall, burnt a photograph of the Chief Minister and also tore a banner of Union Minister Ashok Pradhan on Monday.

The Congress is sore that the Chief Minister did not consult it before he decided to disband the districts.

According to Joginder Singh Awana, Ashok Pradhan had played a dual game. He referred to Mulayam Singh’s statement, which suggested that Pradhan had asked the chief minister to disband the GB Nagar district.

Satya Behn said: “We will ask Jagdambika Pal to either withdraw support to Mulayam Singh Yadav, or to restore the district.’’


These girls play surrogate mothers to siblings
rather than attend school
Smriti Kak
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, January 20
Lalita is 13 and lives in Jahangirpur. She has one married sister and one younger brother. Having studied up to class six, Lalitha had to leave school to take care of her younger brother. Her father runs a teashop and her mother works as domestic help.

Afsana is 12 years, has one sister and three brothers. With both parents working, she too has bid adieu to books to look after her younger brothers and sister.

Saroj is 13 years old and has never gone to school. A resident of Madanpur Khadar, her daily chores include looking after her younger sister, aged three, and brothers aged five and eight.

While the Centre and the state have been quick to point out the plans and schemes devised to “educate all”, girls like Saroj and Lalitha have little hope of escaping the domestic responsibility that has been thrust upon them.

These girls have been surrogate mothers to their siblings, shouldering responsibilities that prevent them from attending school. This when government claims to have made “various provisions,” including “night schools”.

“The government has failed in its duty to help providing crèches for younger children, so that these girls, who are pulled out of school, are given a chance to study”, says Advocate Ashok Agarwal, Convenor of the Social Jurists, who undertook a survey in the resettlement colonies in the capital and found that there was not a single crèche in these areas.

Having taken up the cause of these girls, the Social Jurists has now written to the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC). “ Several cases have come to our notice, where either the girl child has never gone to school or has left school midway to look after the younger siblings in the family while her parents have gone out to earn livelihood. This is a clear violation of the human and fundamental right to elementary education of more than two million children, which is a matter of utmost public concern”, says the letter, which has been sent to the NHRC.

Further it says, “ It is estimated that out of 10 million out of school children more than two million are not attending school because they have to look after the younger siblings”.

Point out Agarwal and Gautam Jha, who have submitted the letter, “The provision for good quality crèche in every primary school of this country is the solution. It has been brought to the notice of the government several times, but not a single crèche has been opened so far”.

Hoping the NHRC will take necessary action, Agarwal says, “The 10th Plan also recognises the increasing need for support services of creches/day care centres for the children of working/ailing mothers, especially in the present day context, where more and more women are coming out for employment, both in the organised and unorganised sectors”.

The Social Jurists has also mentioned in the letter to the NHRC that all the primary schools in the country must establish a good quality crèche on their premises and the provisions regarding crèche in the existing labour legislation must be strictly enforced.


NGO helps repatriate children of a lesser god
Bijendra Ahlawat

Tribune News Service

Faridabad, January 20
While most of us do not fail to voice our disapproval when incidents of trafficking of girls, especially minors, are reported, only a few really go out of the way to help such victims.

Shakti Vahini, an NGO based here, is one of the few. Recently, it has traced the parents of a 12-year-old girl, who had been recovered from the clutches of traffickers in Kurukshetra district. The NGO even enabled the father to secure custody of his daughter.

The girl, who had been in the custody of the police department, was handed over to the father today on the directions of the court. The victim, a student of Class IV, is a resident of Varanasi. She had been allegedly sold to a truck driver in Haridwar by a trafficker for Rs 20,000. From there, she was brought to a colony in Kurukshetra and reportedly kept there for another buyer. But luckily the police recovered her on January 18, following a tip-off.

When the matter was reported to the NGO, its activists got into the act and traced the parents of the girl. They contacted the police officials in Varanasi and even arranged for the father, identified as one Lallan Yadav, to be brought to Kurukshetra. The latter was reportedly not even aware that his daughter had been abducted; he told the police that he had thought that his daughter had gone to some relative’s house.

Later, the NGO helped Lallan to file a petition in the court, seeking the custody of his daughter. The NGO also secured the authorities’ help to enable the girl and her father to reach their house safely. It has also asked the Varanasi police to trace the person who had sold the girl in the first place and ensure that the victim does not fall into the traffickers’ hands again. The Kurukshetra police is reported to have arrested one person in this connection. A woman accomplice is still to be arrested.

This is the second minor girl to have been recovered in the state in the past one week. Earlier, a 13-year-old girl from Uttaranchal had been recovered from Hassan village of Karnal district a few days ago. This girl had been sold for Rs 25,000. At least five persons, including a Sarpanch, had been arrested in the case. However, this girl had been lodged in the Mahila Ashram in that district. At least, five other minor girls from other states, who had been recovered, have been kept in the ashram.

Vahini had also helped trace the father of another girl from Assam, who was repatriated in December last. The girl had been recovered from Hathin sub-division in the district. Vahini claims that it is ready to repatriate all the rescued girls, if the local authorities are amenable. It has, however, expressed dissatisfaction over the role of the Social Welfare department in checking such crimes and rehabilitation of the victims. Such crimes cannot be contained unless and until the authorities, especially policemen, are sensitised, feels the NGO.


Six inquiry officers later, this man is still
groping for answers
Kiran Deep

Tribune News Service

Panipat, January 20
Finding to his dismay that six senior police officers had been unable to crack the murder mystery of his parents, who were done to death three years ago, the son, Yashpal Garg, has decided to approach the Punjab and Haryana High Court and request it to entrust the inquiry to the CBI.

Mr Garg has also decided to petition the Prime Minister, the President and the Chief Justice of India, pleading for their help in the matter.

Mr Garg, whose parents were brutally done to death by unidentified persons at Jhattipur village on January 17, 2001, told the NCR Tribune that he had lost faith in the state police. (The case had been handed over to six inquiry officers, including the CID wing, but they had failed to solve the case in the last three years.) This was despite the reward of Rs 60,000 announced for any information leading to the arrest of the assailants, he added.

Giving details about his parents’ murder, Mr Garg recalled that on the night of January 17 his father and mother, Mr Banarshi Dass and Ms Shimla Devi, were brutally murdered in their factory in Jhattipur village by unidentified persons.

Narrating his harrowing tale, Mr Garg said that ironically his parents had shifted to Jhattipur as they considered it “safer” than Barnala in Punjab, where they were residing at the height of the militancy in the early 80s.

Talking about the need to hand over the case to the CBI, Mr Garg said that he had decided to move the court as the state CID had failed to arrest the assailants and had again handed over the case to the police.

Initially, the murder case was handed over to the SHO, Mr Jai Bhagwan; then, to CIA Inspector Dhyan Singh; and thereafter to SI Shamsher Singh. The inquiry had been entrusted to a DSP of the CID, Mr Jai Prakash Gautam, after the then DGP, Mr MS Malik, was “gheraoed” by the family on May 11 2001. However, the shuffling yielded no tangible result. Thereafter, the case was taken over by another DSP, Mr Ashok Kumar, and finally by DSP Fateh Singh, but the investigation is back to square one.

Mr Garg pointed out that the double murder had rattled the affluent industrialists in the area.



List steps taken to check power theft: apex court
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, January 20
The Supreme Court on Tuesday issued notices to the Government of NCT of Delhi and private companies, asking them to state within two weeks steps taken to control the theft of power and wondered as to why in a period of economic boom, Delhiites have to suffer darkness.

A Bench comprising justices Ruma Pal and BP Singh, while issuing notices on an application filed by amicus curiae Ranjit Kumar, observed : “When the economy is booming, why should one suffer something as basic as power”.

The observation came during the hearing on a application that sought a direction to appoint various authorities and constitute special courts for the purpose of checking the unabated theft of electricity, which is depriving law-abiding citizens of adequate power supply. The court agreed with the contention of power distribution companies that adequate power was available for the entire city, but due to almost 50 per cent loss of power due to theft, the citizens have not been able to get uninterrupted supply.

They said that in the last eight months of privatisation of power distribution, almost Rs 100 crore had been spent on improvisation of the infrastructure. The amicus contended that despite statutory requirements, the Government of NCT of Delhi had not constituted various authorities required under the electricity laws for curbing various power-related offences.

Inter-state criminal held

New Delhi: The Crime Branch claims to have apprehended a desperate inter-state criminal and a resident of Uttar Pradesh, along with his associate, in the Timar Pur area of East Delhi. The criminal was planning to set up a base in Delhi, so that he could commit crimes here. A stolen Hero Honda motorcycle was recovered from their possession. Based on a tip-off that the criminal, who had jumped parole in UP, has been planning to set up a base in East Delhi, the sleuths rushed to Timar Pur area and spotted two persons on a Hero Honda motorcycle.



Unit area system of taxation benefits the rich,
penalises the poor?
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, January 20
Mr Subhash Arya, Leader of Opposition in the MCD, has alleged that Delhi Government is bent on taxing the poor and providing the maximum tax benefits to the affluent sections by implementing Unit Area System of property tax assessment and that too without consulting the elected representatives.

He described this act as undemocratic and against the poor and middle class. He said that the Unit Area System will benefit the affluent sections benefit; on the other hand, the tax liability of the common man go up many times.

Mr Arya, while giving the details, alleged that the Congress-led Delhi Government had not sent the reports of two expert committees constituted for recommending reforms in the property tax system. The councillors, who have a more extensive knowledge of development works and geographical conditions of their respective areas, have been ignored completely, which is against democratic traditions.

He alleged that in the unit area report, the owners of huge properties have been provided benefits. Giving an example, Mr Arya disclosed that 17 properties of ‘A’ category, shown in Annexure,-C are now paying Rs. 3,70,26,634 under the existing system. But, with the introduction of Unit Area System of assessment, only Rs. 66,99,411 would be paid by the owner of these properties as property tax. In this way, the affluent sections will have to pay 5 and a half times less property tax whereas the owners of properties given in Annexure-D will have to pay five to fifty times more. It would also put an additional burden on retired people.

Mr Arya further disclosed that with the implementation of the Unit Area System, all such properties, which have a ratable value up to Rs. 1000, will also be taxed. Such properties are exempted from property tax in the existing system. Similarly, 95 per cent properties of rural areas and urbanized villages will also be subjected to property tax, except those which are self-occupied. Mr Arya alleged that in the existing system buildings on plots up to 26 mtrs are exempted from property tax, but with the introduction of Unit Area Method these properties will also be subjected to tax.

Mr Arya, citing discrepancies in the reports of expert Committees, informed that common areas like stairs, courtyards, open grounds, path ways in Group Housing societies and market complexes have not been clarified and it has not been mentioned as to who will pay the tax for these common areas.

Mr Arya, while objecting to the formula of Unit Area System, alleged that the categorization of areas from A to H and the age factor are not based on a scientific principle. He said that when the government has already categorized LIG/MIG/HIG/SFS categories, then why should these colonies be categorized again. It will adversely affect the poor and weaker sections of society, who won’t be able to pay increased taxes and ultimately have to sell their properties.

Mr Arya further said that hospitals, nursing homes and educational institutions are being used both for public utility and commercial purposes. The constitution of another sub-committee for giving recommendations on such organizations is highly unlikely. Mr Arya alleged that this committee has been constituted under political pressures to bestow benefits on affluent sections. While discussing the tax on farmhouses, Mr Arya said that affluent sections had been accommodated, as farmhouses will be subjected to tax on rates prevailing in neighbouring villages and colonies. In most cases, the farmhouses were being used for commercial purposes Mr Arya suggested that the owners of farmhouses, he added.

They can pay six times more, but their tax liability is being reduced under the new system, which is neither rational nor justified.

Mr Arya said that the self-assessment scheme was being introduced to deceive people since the assessment is based on reports of architects. How can then corruption be stamped out, Mr Arya wondered. He also said that the media exercise, under which objections had been invited through advertisements in newspapers, would be a flop, as most villagers do not read newspapers. He also said that the provision of imprisonment and penalties was not justified. Mr Arya further said that it is essential that reports of these expert committees should be handed over to the municipal councillors. The latter are more familiar with their areas, so they could study and deliberate on this issue before implementation of UAM.

Mr Arya demanded that tax liabilities of all such old properties of Delhi, which are being used for residential purposes by retired people, should be reduced, since the formula of age factor applicable to these properties is not correct. He also demanded that a special meeting of the House be called to discuss the recommendations given by the Expert Committees. Mr Arya alleged that the proposed Unit Area System is anti-people and, if it is implemented, the BJP will launch an agitation to create awareness amongst the people.


Power crisis throws normal life out of gear
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, January 20
Uninterrupted and regular power supply has become a dream for the residents of this city. The regular disruption of power supply has thrown the normal life out of gear.

Business and industrial activities have been adversely affected.

According to a report, frequent power cuts, trippings and failures are common features in the city and its suburbs.

The situation in the rural areas was worse as regular load shedding is resorted to by the local authorities of the Uttar Haryana Bijli Vitran Nigam (UHBVN).

Though the UHBVN claimed to have launched a campaign to check power theft, so as to reduce the demand on the distribution system, there has been no perceptible improvement in the power supply to the residents in the area.

The repeated announcements made by the Chief Minister, Mr Om Parkash Chautala, that the government would provide round-the-clock power supply to all categories of the consumers have proved to be a “false promise”.

Ever since the present government came to power in the state, the power and water supply has been irregular.

And since the feeders of tubewells are connected with the domestic feeders, the drinking water supply to this city is also disrupted.

It is a pity that the tubewells at the main waterworks, Murthal, have not been linked with diesel generators, which was the main cause of the disruption in the water supply system in the face of power crisis.

The on-going power crisis has given a shattering blow to the industries in this region. Besides disrupting industrial growth, it has made a large number of industrial workers jobless.

The power crisis has had a telling effect on the industrial production. Even as large number of small-scale units have closed down, a number of them are on the verge of closure.

Many units are finding it difficult even to pay the wages to their employees. As a result unemployment looms large in every part of the region.

As a result of long spells of closure, the units are finding it almost impossible to repay the loans to the financing agencies and the banks. Hence, a substantial amount of bank finances are also in jeopardy.

Meanwhile, economic misery is fast engulfing a vast majority of industrial workers resulting from unprecedented lay-offs in industrial units struggling hard to survive in the face of frequent power cuts.

A large number of workers have been made unemployed, depriving them of the basic means of livelihood.

In many cases, the families of the unemployed industrial workers have been driven to the point of starvation.

The state government seems to be “helpless” and nobody knows how thing will turn out if this situation continues.

Even as the industrialists show their unhappiness over the increasing retrenchment of workers, they show their helplessness on account of the non-functioning of their units due to lack of regular power supply.

Production have slumped to a non-profitable level, and if the power situation did not improve the majority of the industrial units in this belt would be adversely affected in some way or the other.

It would be a tremendous loss not only to the industrialists and the workers but also to the state whose economy would be jolted to a great deal.

It is felt that the government must become proactive to find a quick solution to this grim problem.

Sooner the government is able to find a way to control the fast deteriorating power situation, the better it would be for the people as well as for the economic upliftment of the state.


Councillors being trained to meet people’s
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, January 20
The Municipal Corporation of Delhi, Human Settlement Management Institute of HUDCO and United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-HABITAT) jointly organized a two-day training programme on ‘Potential role of Municipal Councilors’.

The programme, which concluded today, was attended by 61 participants, including 45 Councillors from MCD and 16 municipal functionaries from Uttaranchal, Haryana and Punjab.

The training was conducted by a group of 20 senior trainers drawn from seven countries. These included two each from Romania, Indonesia, Nepal, Afghanistan and Sri Lanka, one from Japan and nine from India.

The programme covered a brief description of eleven roles of Municipal Councillors such as Councillor as leader, enabler, institution builder, negotiator, overseer, financier, power broker, communicator, facilitator, policymaker and decision maker.

Out of these eleven roles, the two-day programme focused on five roles in a detailed manner. These are Councillor as leader, communicator, negotiator, policy maker and overseer.

The training was conducted in a participatory manner whereby the participants worked in different groups to carry out exercises and also took part in the structured discussions. The exercises used in the training drew special appreciation and interest from the participants.

Councillors indicated that the course was extremely useful in relation to their day-to-day activities as public representative and this would enable them to ensure smooth and effective delivery of municipal services in the overall context of 74th Constitution Amendment and its follow-up.

They also expressed their view that such course should be organized on a regular basis and should also cover other roles given in the UN-HABITAT material.

The Mayor of Delhi, Mr Ashok Jain inaugurated the programme at Town Hall. In his inaugural address, the Mayor said that the Municipal Councillors were fully acquainted with the problems and difficulties of the citizens they were close to the citizens as they formed the third tier in the local administration.

Therefore, it was imperative that councillors should be well acquainted with principles, laws, rules and by-laws of local administration.

The Municipal Commissioner, Mr Rakesh Mehta, said that it was for the first time that experts from seven countries were here to train the Municipal Councillors for better leadership and management.

Decentralization is the key to good administration. The MCD can ensure proper coordination with Resident Welfare Associations, which will be one step below the ward level, he said.

Mr Rajan Kumar, Executive Director, HUDCO, spoke in the valedictory session and awarded the participants with a certificate of appreciation for their participation in the programme. He indicated the need to encourage similar programmes to promote awareness and related skills on various municipal issues among the Councillors and other officials of the corporation at different levels. Mr Ranjan Kumar also assured all possible support from HSMI in the organization of similar programmes for the benefit of municipal officials in MCD and other places.


Move to popularise Urdu language, newspapers
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, January 20
Reiterating her government’s commitment to take all necessary steps to promote Urdu, the Delhi Chief Minister, Ms Sheila Dikshit, has formed four sub-committees of the Urdu Academy for chalking out strategies to popularise the language and suggesting measures to help Urdu newspapers.

The ‘Seminar and Communication Sub-Committee’ will be headed by Sheikh Manzoor Ahmed, Chief of UNI, Urdu Service.

Its members are Syeda Naseem Chisti, Dr Shaid Parvez, Dr Irtiza Karim, Mr Izhar Usmani and M.H Abidi, secretary, Urdu Academy, as its member-secretary.

The committee will organise seminar and symposia on various topics and subjects, besides interacting with leading Urdu media personalities to finalise recommendations for popularising Urdu through dailies, weeklies and magazines.

The vice-chairman of the Academy, Mr Meem Afzal, recently held a meeting with the Urdu writers and journalists in this regard a few days back, where problems faced by Urdu newspapers were discussed.

Syed Shariful Hasan Naqvi has been nominated convenor of the ‘Award and Cultural Programme Sub-Committee’.

The sub-committee will recommend names of prominent Urdu writers and poets, journalists and others for annual awards.

It also selects an individual or institution for the prestigious Bahadur Shah Zafar Award, which carries a cash award of Rs 1,11,000. The members include Dr Aquil Ahmed, Mr Salahuddin Parvez, Mr Nirmal Singh Nirmal and Mr Zubair Ahmed.

Similarly, the ‘Education-Sub Committee’ will be chaired by Prof Zafar Ahmed Nizami of Jamia Millia Islamia. The members are Dr Shahid Hussain, Dr Azhar Hussain, Ms Zubeida Habib, Mr Mohd. Yousuf and Mr Shamsher Singh Sher. This committee has been entrusted with the job of promotion of Urdu through adult education programme and other courses. The noted writer, Mr Balraj Komal, will head the publication sub-committee and its members include Dr Khaliq Anjum of Anjuman Tariqee Urdu, Dr Ali Javed, Dr Khalid Mehmood and Mohd Shoab Mirza.

Meanwhile, a meeting of the ‘Seminar and Communication Sub-Committee’ was held here yesterday and it decided to hold a number of seminars on various issues and topics. Mr Afzal was also present at the meeting.


Brave children call on L-G
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, January 20
“Their bravado reflects the changing face of the nation”, said the Delhi Lieutenant-Governor, Mr Vijai Kapoor, on Tuesday as he interacted with the winners of the National Bravery Award 2004.

Twenty-six children including five girls have been selected for National Bravery Award 2004 for acts of courage, bravery and gallantry. Out of them, three boys have been given the award posthumously.

The awardees called on the Lieutenant-Governor, Mr Vijai Kapoor, on Tuesday at Raj Niwas ahead of the Republic Day parade. On the occasion, he said the attempts to thwart anti-social elements and to prevent child marriage was unique and praiseworthy.

Passing out Parade

Six probationary officers of the Delhi Andaman Nicobar Island Police Services (DANIPS) cadre and 1232 constables passed out in a ceremonial parade at the Police Training College, Delhi Police at Jharoda Kalan today.

The Union Home Secretary, Mr N. Gopalswami, who was the chief guest, took the salute at the passing out parade. The Joint Commissioner of Police (Training), Mr U. N. B. Rao and the Principal, Police Training College, Mr Akhtar Ali Farooqui, were present during the function.

Five of the trainee constables secured more than 70 per cent marks while as many as 1,036 have secured first class.

Traffic diversion announced

The Delhi Traffic Police have made elaborate arrangements for the rehearsal of the Beating Retreat ceremony at Vijay Chowk on January 21 from 3 p.m. onwards.

The traffic police said that traffic coming from Rajpath–Rafi Marg crossing– North Fountain – Raisina Road– South Fountain–Krishna Menon Marg–Moti Lal Nehru Marg– Dalhousie Road– Parliament House and North and South Blocks will not be allowed towards Vijay Chowk during the rehearsal period.

Also the traffic coming from North Block and South Block towards Vijay Chowk will be diverted to gate No 2 and 3 of Rashtrapati Bhawan to exit via Hukmimai Marg and Church Road.

Programme by Singh Sabha Gurdwaras

A special programme was organised by the Singh Sabha Gurdwaras and Sikh Sangat of Preet Vihar on the occasion of the birth anniversary celebrations of Guru Gobind Singh.

The programme was organised on January 18 and general secretary of the DSGMC, Mr. Harbhajan Singh Matharoo, was the chief guest on the occasion.

The Nagar Kirtan began in the presence of the Guru Granth Sahib decorated in a Palki Sahab, followed by the Panj Pyaras. Schoolchildren with school bands, gatka parties and shabad kirtan jathas were also part of the procession. The green flag for the Nagar Kirtan was shown by Sardar Surjit Singh Ramgarhia.


Ncr briefs
Rape accused shot at
Our Correspondents

Bhiwani, January 20
A man released on parole from the Bhiwani District Jail was reportedly shot at while boarding a bus at village Mittathal today. He was rushed to the Civil Hospital Bhiwani where doctors referred him to PGIMS, Rohtak.

The injured man was identified as Vijender and was on parole after being accused in a rape case.

JE killed in road accident

Sonepat: A Junior Engineer of the Sonepat Marketing Board, Mr Bhup Singh, was killed on the spot and Mr Ram Dhan a lambardar sustained injuries when a Haryana Roadway bus rammed into their motorcycle on the Sonepat-Kharkhauda-Sisana road, about 23 km from here last evening.

According to a report, the victim was going on his motorcycle to Gorar village. The injured lambardar was rushed to the PGIMS at Rohtak for further treatment. The police have registered the case against the bus driver, who escaped immediately after the accident. The Kharkhauda police has, however, impounded the bus.

According to another report, thieves reportedly demolished the wall of a shop and escaped with Maruti spare parts worth over Rs 1 lakh at Kharkhauda town, 19 km from here last night. According to a report, the stolen goods include 20 balti greece, motorbody parts and the petroleum products.

The owner of the shop has lodged a complaint with the Kharkhauda police and further investigations were in progress.

Trains delayed

Foggy weather in Sonepat city and its adjoining areas continued to affect rail and road traffic. Most of the trains were running behind schedule by several hours, leaving a large number of passengers stranded at various railway stations on the DUK section of the Northern Railway.

According to a report, the Unchhar Express running between Allahabad and Ambala Cantt. Was cancelled for the day. The Amritsar-bound Barauni-Amritsar Express and the Moori- Hathia Express passed through Sonepat behind schedule by six and four hours respectively.

The Delhi-bound Kalka Mail also ran late by three hours. Similarly, all other long-distance mail, express and superfast as well as suburban trains passed through Sonepat behind schedule, which caused inconvenience to the passenger, mostly government employees and schoolteachers employed at Delhi and other places, who form the bulk of the regular passengers from Sonepat. They complained that they could not reach their destinations on time. Instead, they were left stranded in the biting cold and had to wait at the platforms to board the delayed trains.

Meanwhile, severe cold wave conditions and fog continued to envelop Sonepat region, which had claimed three lives so far.


Theft in music shops

Sonepat, January 20
Thieves reportedly broken into two shops near Biswan Meel village and escaped with CD players and cassettes worth several thousands of rupees last night.

According to a report, thieves entered the video shop and took away at least 200 CD cassettes worth several thousands of rupees. Later, they also entered another shop from where they stole at least 150 CDs and other goods worth about Rs 15,000. Both the shopkeepers have informed the police about the thefts, but no case has been registered so far.

UHBVN employees burnt

Two employees of the Uttar Haryana Bijli Vitran Nigam (UHBVN) sustained burn injuries while they were replacing fused bulbs on an electricity pole on the premises of the industrial area at Rai, about 13 km from here yesterday. OC



Brother, sister attacked with axe over family feud
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, January 20
About a dozen armed miscreants reportedly forced their way into a house and attacked a youth, Bijender, and his sister Renu, with lathis and kulharis at Khatkar village, about 25 km from here last night. The victims sustained multiple injuries.

According to a report, both the injured brother and sister were admitted to the local civil hospital and are stated to be out of danger. The police are still investigating into the case. However, no case has been registered so far.

A quarrel between the relatives of the victims is stated to be the main cause of the attack. Both the injured brother and sister were asleep when they were attacked.

Body found

The Government Railway Police (GRP) recovered the body of a youth lying on the railway track near Rajlu Garhi railway station, about 10 km from here last evening.

According to a report, the body bore several injuries inflicted by some sharp-edged weapons. The GRP believes it to be a case of murder.

The body has been sent for the postmortem examination. The GRP has registered a case and further investigations were in progress. However, the body still remains unidentified.

Youth assaulted

Navin, a nine-year-old youth was assaulted with an iron rod by a man while he was on his way to school at Ridhao village, about 15 km from here yesterday.

According to a report, the injured boy was immediately rushed to the local civil hospital from where he was referred to the PGIMS at Rohtak for further treatment. The alleged assailant, however, managed to escape after the assault. The Kharkhauda police have registered the case and further investigations were in progress.

Suicide attempt

A youth, identified as Bobby, reportedly tried to commit suicide by taking sulphas tablets in his house in Khanna colony here last evening.

According to a report, when his condition worsened, his parents took him to the civil hospital for treatment.

The youth took this extreme step as he was under heavy debt. The police are still investigating into the case.


Gang involved in selling fake currency busted
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, January 20
The North-East district police today claimed to have busted a gang involved in selling fake currency notes in the national Capital.

The police have arrested four persons of the gang and seized Rs 14,800 of fake notes.

Based on a secret information that some people involved in selling fake notes would be coming to Maujpur area, the police apprehended laid out a trap and arrested Mumtiaz alias Munti (32), resident of Timarpur, Raj Kumar alias Raju (21), resident of Khajuri Khas, Chandu alias Chandu Khan alias Bhagat Ji (35), resident of Alipur and Sanjay (25), resident of Sonepat.

280 kg silicon metal seized

With the arrest of three persons, the North-East district police today claimed to have busted a gang of notorious burglars. The police also claimed to have recovered 280 kilograms of silicon metal stolen from some godowns from their possession.

The arrested burglars were identified as Manoj Kumar alias Gulla (20), resident of Shahdara, Deepak (20), resident of Hardev Puri and Amit Kumar (20), resident of Shahdara.

Young woman commits suicide

A young woman, identified as Lalita (23), committed suicide by hanging from a ceiling fan in her house at Bapudham colony. She was unmarried and living with her elder brother and grandfather. Her parents had died a few years back.

Her sister-in-law works as a sweeper in the NDMC. She took the extreme step this morning when she was alone at her house. Her grandfather found the main gate bolted from inside when he came from outside.

There was no response when he knocked repeatedly at the door. He informed the police who broke open the door and found her hanging from the ceiling fan, the police said.

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